My Appreciation for Joel Covington and my Vanderbilt Journey

My Appreciation for Joel Covington and my Vanderbilt Journey

The world lost a good man this week. I did not I stay in touch with Joel frequently after attending Vanderbilt Owen Business School in the early 1990s. I do, however, remember him well. Joel with a wry humorous wit, always had a comment when I’d see him in passing on my visits back to school. He seemed to be on the inside of a joke, that one was never sure if it was about you, but it didn’t matter, as he said it with a smile.   But most of all for me, Joel, who was Director of Admissions at the time, had the wisdom to look beyond a checkered undergraduate academic career, and understand a young aspiring business person who demonstrated his passion but little else. When others looked only at the black and white on paper, Joel met with me in person and consulted with Nick Whitcombe, my Cornell wrestling pal who was already at Vandy, and was able to see my potential and gave me a chance when it mattered. For this I am grateful.

“At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.” – Benjamin Franklin.  Joel, thanks for having the judgement to recognize my will would turn into something.

Here is a nice story remembering Joel in Vanderbilt News

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Rules to Live By and Hills to Climb

Rules to Live By and Hills to Climb

Two recent things friends have shared with me, some changes on the business front and spending time with my family this week have given me cause to reflect on what is important.  In my posts on Being Grateful earlier this year, I address many things for which I am immensely thankful. [ Being Grateful  & On Being Grateful II ]  Here, I’m thinking about the many challenges we all face from time to time or more frequently.  These can be considered road blocks to one’s path forward, things that get in the way and stop us.  I prefer to consider them “Hills to Climb” as Charles M. Blow put so well in his New York Times piece today. Thanks to my friend Michael R. Burcham for sharing.

What Charles does not address is the HOW, although he touches on it.  The HOW is really important to understand.  Just deciding to overcome an obstacle and to climb that hill is essential but inadequate.  Many may decide but upon encountering further impediments, delays or little progress become discouraged.  Nothing ever goes according to “Plan”.  There will be setbacks, naysayers and failures along the way.  Growing up in a family of educators, musicians and self made individuals, I learned early on how important hard work is to achieving anything worthwhile.  But hard work, coupled with incredible never ending PERSISTENCE is what determines success.  My Cornell classmate and fellow wrestler, Nick Whitcombe shared this inspiring video highlighting Kyle Dake’s incredible 4 NCAA National Championships at 4 DIFFERENT weight classes – a feat never before accomplished making Kyle the Sports Illustrated College Athlete of the Year.  It is narrated by The Arnold, who despite his flaws (as all of us have), has always be an inspiration to me.  I don’t think there are a better set of Rules to Live By if one wants to achieve a goal, attain greatness, or Climb a Hill.

1. Trust Yourself

2. Break Some Rules

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

4. Ignore the Naysayers

5. Work like Hell

6. Give something Back

I’m interested in your thoughts on this or anything you might like to add. Post here or send me a note.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Smoke

Send Your Letter to Support Olympic Wrestling To The International Olympic Committee

Thanks for all the reposts and kind comments… building on my last post, I liked John Irving’s opinion piece in the New York Times “How Wrestling Lost the Olympics”.

Also, looking at the bright side, what could possibly create a headline like this:

“Iran, US Find Common Ground…”

well, the Olympics found a way to cause it…

I also agree with wrestling great, Carl Sanderson, let’s flood the executive committee of the International Olympic Committee with POSITIVE letters showing the passion and great following of Olympic Wrestling.

Executive Committee Members:
(Address at bottom)

Mr Ching-Kuo WU – TPE (Chinese Taipei)

Mr Willi KALTSCHMITT LUJÁN – GUA (Guatemala)

Count Jacques ROGGE – BEL (Belgium)

Mr Thomas BACH – GER (Germany)

Sir Craig REEDIE – GBR (Great Britain)

Dr René FASEL – SUI (Switzerland)

Mr Sam RAMSAMY – RSA (South Africa)

Mr Patrick Joseph HICKEY – IRL (Ireland)

Mrs Gunilla LINDBERG – SWE (Sweden)

Ms Nawal EL MOUTAWAKEL – MAR (Morocco)

Mr Ser Miang NG – SIN (Singapore)

Mr John D. COATES, AC – AUS (Australia)

Mr Juan Antonio SAMARANCH JR – ESP (Spain)

Mr Sergey BUBKA – UKR (Ukraine)

Mrs Claudia BOKEL – GER (Germany)
————————————————————————-

I.O.C.
Château de Vidy
Case postale 356
1001 Lausanne
Switzerland
Phone +41 21 621 61 11
Fax +41 21 621 62 16

Pass this on…

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